MAY 18, 2015, MONTEREY, Calif. (NNS) – Vice Adm. Jan E. Tighe, commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/ U.S. 10th Fleet, met with Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) leadership, faculty and students the week of May 11 to discuss evolving graduate education designed to prepare tomorrow’s cyber leaders.
Tighe, with her subordinate task force commanders, CTFs 1020 and 1070, and representatives from the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army, conducted a biennial curricula review for the Computer Science, Cyber Systems and Operations, and Master’s of Science in Applied Cyber Operations curricula to ensure the programs continue to deliver graduates that meet the evolving operational needs of the Department of Navy and other services.
“The new era and warfront of defense requires that the national security of our great nation is inherently tied to cyber security. The cyber threat is accelerating and through its world class faculty and dedicated student cohort, the Naval Postgraduate School plays a key part in advancing cyber knowledge and cyber operational excellence,” said Dr. Douglas A. Hensler, Provost, NPS.
Tighe’s visit comes the week after the release of the command’s updated strategy, U.S Fleet Cyber Command/TENTH Fleet Strategic Plan 2015-2020.
The strategy served as a corner stone for discussions at NPS and with industry leaders in the Silicon Valley over the course of the week.
“Partnerships with both industry and NPS, which has proven its ability to deliver necessary deep and enduring technical knowledge to our warriors operating in the cyberspace domain, are key elements in reaching the strategic goals laid out in the plan and in assuring all domain access vital to our maritime operations and our nation’s security,” Tighe said.
Fleet Cyber Command’s strategic plan includes five primary goals, which are to: operate the network as a warfighting platform, conduct tailored signals intelligence, deliver warfighting effects through cyberspace, create shared cyber situational awareness, and establish and mature the Navy’s Cyber Mission Force.
NPS degree and research programs in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Cyber Systems and Operations, Mathematics, Operations Research, Space Systems, Network Operations and Technology, and Master’s of Science in Applied Cyber Operations deliver tailored and relevant education to military officers, select enlisted personnel, and government civilians as well as laying a foundation for achieving the five strategic goals.
“NPS is tied to Silicon Valley in both proximity and in driving innovation,” Tighe said. “We intend to work closely with DOD and U.S. Cyber Command to ensure that the ongoing NPS collaborative work with industry can be leveraged and built upon as DOD establishes a new level of partnership with Silicon Valley, which will benefit NPS students tremendously.”
Hensler went on to say, “With our counterparts in the Silicon Valley, NPS is key to protecting the nation from the growing cyber threat to our defense, infrastructure, and financial systems. Vice Adm. Tighe has the complete commitment of NPS to advancing the mission of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, U.S. Tenth Fleet.”
Fleet Cyber Command’s vision is to conduct operations in and through cyberspace, the electromagnetic spectrum, and space to ensure Navy and Joint/Coalition freedom of action and decision superiority while denying the same to our adversaries. The Navy will win in these domains through our collective commitment to excellence and by strengthening our alliances with entities across the U.S. government, DoD, academia, industry, and foreign partners.
NPS delivers the education and facilities to help produce the outcomes that will make the vision a reality.
“NPS offers operating forces a facility to test new concepts for both offensive and defensive cyber warfare. NPS engages students, Navy labs, and other branches of the DoD (like NSA) to wed Navy requirements with state of the art research,” said Dr. Clyde Scandrett, Dean, Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science. “As Cyber is such a quickly changing warfare area, the need to develop solutions to present problems are often of immediate concern while long term needs are addressed by NPS inculcating an atmosphere of problem solving in the future leaders of this vital warfare area.”
Similarly, Cmdr. Zachary Staples, Military Associate Professor in the NPS Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Director of the Center for Cyber Warfare, stated, “NPS graduates are studying at the nexus of cyber security and cyber warfare. This gives them unique perspective to incorporate ideas and fundamentals from civilian security practices and apply them in a military context to similar challenges we share in protecting our own networks, and to leverage those ideas in support of full spectrum cyber operations.”
Dr. Peter Denning, Chair, NPS Department of Computer Science, summed it up, saying, “All warfighting operations rely on the network and its operating systems. Cyber attacks are launched in the low level bits and signals of this medium. Our technically proficient graduates will outperform their adversaries in defending the network and its connected systems.”
The commissioning of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and reestablishment of U.S. 10th Fleet on Jan. 29, 2010 closely followed the Navy’s 2009 acknowledgement of information’s centrality to maritime warfighting, known as Information Dominance.
Information Dominance is defined as the operational advantage gained from fully integrating the Navy’s information functions, capabilities, and resources to optimize decision making and maximize warfighting effects. The three pillars of Information Dominance are assured command and control (C2), battlespace awareness, and integrated fires.
Fleet Cyber Command is a key operational command in delivering on missions across those three pillars.